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Introduction To The Vienna Game & Gambit

Introduction To The Vienna Game & Gambit

RussBell
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The Vienna Game and Gambit

Here are some instructive resources for learning and playing the dynamic and exciting Vienna Game & Gambit which begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3. and typically following with 3.f4.  

The Vienna Game & Gambit is an aggressive opening, full of dangerous attacks and traps against unwary opponents, many of whom will be unfamiliar with how to best defend against it.  An additional plus is that, compared to many other games beginning 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, (for example The Ruy Lopez, or The Italian Game) there is much less theory to be learned.  It is particularly effective, and fun to play, when employed in speed games - bullet, blitz, rapid (see, for example, the book by Sveshnikov cited at the end of this article).

By introducing 2.Nc3 prior to 3.f4 the opening is considered to be an improved version of the King's Gambit. The point is to first establish increased control of the center by protecting e4 and adding a second defender of the central square d5.  This to stabilize the center prior to initiating a kingside attack beginning with the move 3.f4.  

The following game is an impressive display of the kind of winning tactics that the Vienna Gambit (here declined) can offer against imprecise play by an opponent.  Zukertort (who lost the first "official" World Chess Championship match to Steinitz in 1886) puts on a masterful tactical performance, including a startling Queen sacrifice (which is justified only by the swift and aggressive development and deployment of White's pieces) accompanied by the opening of attacking lines leading to Black's king, making it possible for the first player to quickly overwhelm and crush his hapless opponent (NN=No Name)...

Vienna Gambit

Never ACCEPT the Vienna Gambit!...

http://gameknot.com/annotation.pl/never-accept-the-vienna-gambit?gm=7122

Chess Openings: Learn to Play the Vienna Gambit! - The Chess Giant...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQdXlw5JQjU

Learn THE VIENNA GAMBIT - ChessGeek...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqkvJYG2RNA

How to Play The Vienna Gambit - Molton...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqyuXjQoAG0

Win With 1.e4, Aggressive Chess Opening | Vienna Gambit - Remote Chess Academy...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x7NhxHm5qoI

WIN WITH 1. E4 | The Vienna Gambit & System - GothamChess...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=JVxENCPcCjU

GM Nakamura and IM Levy Rozman (aka 'GothamChess') rate Vienna Gambit as "Legendary"...(@31:50 of 1st video and @48:00 of the 2nd video)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3FBRlzSMHc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pblb8ZQ3OJ4&ab_channel=GMHikaru

Chess Openings: Vienna Gambit - Forgotten but Tricky!! - Miodrag Perunovic...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeuEDHDgIM4

Vienna Gambit - ianchessgambits.com...

https://www.ianchessgambits.com/kings-gambit-vienna-gambit-lines.html

After the main line opening moves of the Vienna Gambit - 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 - there are two replies by White which have attracted significant attention.  These are: 5. Qf3 and 5.Nf3.  According to the ChessTempo database, White is favored in both lines.  Examples of play with these two moves are featured in the links immediately below.  I recommend becoming acquainted with them...

Dangerous Chess Openings: The Vienna Gambit - GM Illingworth - Chess.com.....in the article be sure to search/check "critical test" and "5.Qf3"...

https://www.chess.com/blog/Illingworth/dangerous-chess-openings-the-vienna-gambit-1

The Vienna Gambit with 5.Qf3...

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2014/alrick-man-Qf3.htm

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1028578

The Vienna Gambit with 5.Nf3 - The Kenilworthian...

https://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-critical-line-of-vienna-gambit.html

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2014/torre-marshall-vienna.htm

Master Class | GM's Blunder Too, Vienna Gambit | Chess Speedrun | GM Naroditsky...

(note at 1:07 of the video when Danya says "I think the Vienna is a phenomenal opening!")...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyTKdxfD8no&ab_channel=DanielNaroditsky

Vienna Gambit | Master Class | Chess Speedrun | Grandmaster Naroditsky...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4lW-6f56Cg

You MUST Know THIS About The Vienna Gambit | Sensei Speedrun | GM Naroditsky...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RehhbTF00qQ

Alrick H. Man Theme Tournament - Vienna Gambit - The Kenilworthian...

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2014/alrick-man-complete.htm

Vienna Gambit Overview - lichess study...

https://lichess.org/study/dNYgykBC/CKASPmBK

Vienna Gambit Bibliography - The Kenilworthian...

http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2014/05/vienna-gambit-c29-bibliography.html

Vienna Game

Here the famous chess player, writer and book author I. A. Horowitz as White wins an entertaining and instructive Vienna Game (with, according to Stockfish, some imprecise play by his unidentified opponent) while featuring both a Queen sacrifice and a Rook sacrifice in the winning effort...

Vienna Game Summary - Wikipedia.....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Game

Vienna Game Overview - thechesswebsite.com

https://www.thechesswebsite.com/vienna-game/

Chess Openings: Learn to Play the Vienna Game - The Chess Giant...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i14Vseie0XI

The Vienna Game Full Guide - ChessGeek...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T64JJ5850sk

The Vienna Game | Chess Openings Explained - Saint Louis Chess Club...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QQ5sw-SgNw

Master Class | Vienna Game | Chess Speedrun | Grandmaster Naroditsky...

(an interesting Vienna Game by 'Danya'.....with post-game analysis)...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YgMVGhponbU&ab_channel=DanielNaroditsky

The Vienna Game | Chess Lesson # 34 (Kingside Fianchetto Variation) - NM Robert Ramirez...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZGs48xcnao

Note: if the Kingside Fianchetto Variation of the Vienna Game (see video immediately above) is of particular interest, you might want to check out the similar Closed Variation of the Sicilian Defense for White (i.e., against 1.e4 c5) which also features an early Nc3/g3/Bg2 kingside fianchetto setup for the first player.  Otherwise, be sure to check out the related section below, at the end of this article - 'Against the Sicilian Defense - The Grand Prix Attack !'.

Vienna Game Courses on Chessable (several are free)...

https://www.chessable.com/chess-openings/s/vienna

7 Best Vienna Games - thechessworld.com...

https://thechessworld.com/articles/openings/7-best-vienna/

Vienna Game & Gambit - games collections...

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1003765

http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2014/alrick-man-complete.htm

The Frankenstein-Dracula Variation.....ChessCafe.com Archives...

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626233548/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/abby14.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20140627015045/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz01.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20140711125330/http://chesscafe.com/text/kibitz21.txt

https://web.archive.org/web/20140626200148/http://www.chesscafe.com/text/kibitz22.txt

https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chesscollection?cid=1010397

Books on Vienna Game & Gambit

While each of the following books has something worthwhile to offer on the topic, I highly recommend the first two books in the list...

The Vienna Gambit for the Club Player by Colin Payne & Mike Read.....an excellent introduction to the Vienna Gambit.   Probably the only book that most amateurs will need to start playing this opening effectively.  Does a good job explaining the moves and strategies.

The Modern* Vienna Game by Roman Ovetchkin & Sergei Soloviov.....an advanced, very detailed, exhaustive treatment of the Vienna Game suitable for those who are already experienced with this opening and/or as a reference for those employing it in Chess.com "daily chess", or correspondence play.

Vienna Game by Gary Lane

The Complete Vienna by Tseitlin & Glazkov

The Vienna Game and Gambit, Revised 2nd Ed. by A.E. Santasiere & Ken Smith

An Opening Repertoire for the Attacking Player by Eduard Gufeld

New In Chess Yearbook #137 (pp.136-141) features an instructive introductory overview, article on the so-called Modern* Vienna Game which features an early Bc4 by White - typically on the third move - with the Bishop eyeing the f7 square while simultaneously adding an additional defender against a potential ...d5 by Black.  A pdf of the article is available here....."A Rare Vienna Line Becomes Popular" by Krisztian Szabo...

https://www.newinchess.com/en_US/yearbook-137

https://www.newinchess.com/media/wysiwyg/product_pdf/4060.pdf

The following book by Sveshnikov offers an opening repertoire for Black and White, where the Vienna Game is the featured opening for White against 1. e4 e5.  While several move orders for reaching the Vienna and Vienna-like positions are presented, including those with an early Bc4 (the so-called Modern* Vienna Game - see below), the author's main line preference is: 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 with the intention of meeting 3...d5 with 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Qf3 (a line discussed earlier in this article).  The Google Books web page (link below) contains an excerpt-preview of the book, including selected pages from the chapter on the Vienna Game (beginning on p.334)...

"A Chess Opening Repertoire for Blitz & Rapid - Sharp, Surprising and Forcing Lines for Black and White" by Evgeny Sveshnikov, Vladimir Sveshnikov...

https://www.google.com/books/edition/A_Chess_Opening_Repertoire_for_Blitz_Rap/JPjnCwAAQBAJ?l=en&gbpv=1&dq=A+Chess+Opening+Repertoire+for+Blitz+and+Rapid&printsec=frontcover

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Against the Sicilian Defense - The Grand Prix Attack !

If you enjoy playing the Vienna Game & Gambit as White against 1.e4 e5, there is a good chance you might like playing the Grand Prix Attack against 1. e4 c5, the Sicilian Defense.

For an aggressive yet sound White response to the Sicilian Defense I suggest to check out my blog article...

Fighting the Sicilian With The Grand Prix Attack...

https://www.chess.com/blog/RussBell/fighting-the-sicilian-with-the-grand-prix-attack

In particular you will notice that White's first several moves in the Grand Prix Attack are the same as for the Vienna Game & Gambit (1.e4 / 2.Nc3, followed soon thereafter by f4).

While the openings are different by virtue of Black's first move, since White's first few moves are typically the same in both openings, there is some commonality not only in the setup but also in the fact that for both openings White's intention is to launch a kingside attack, which is the point of the aggressive placement of the f4 pawn in both openings.

These similarities suggest that what one learns in terms of strategies and tactics from one opening may, in certain circumstances, prove useful when playing the other opening as well.  The commonalities also imply that in terms of an opening repertoire it could be more productive and efficient to study and employ these two openings than two totally dissimilar openings, with completely different pawn structures, strategies and tactics.  It is for these reasons that I chose to create the articles on these two openings. 

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For more articles on other chess topics, including helpful resources and book recommendations, check out my Chess.com blog.

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